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Wicklow-born Irishman Edward Bowen featured on the England team which played in the first ever football international in 1870 against Scotland, and also played in (and won) the first FA Cup Final in 1872, and repeated the feat in 1873.

His grandson, Dubliner Ian Stuart, won 2 caps in Rugby for Ireland in 1924, one of which was Ireland's first international game at Ravenhill.
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Did you know?

Wicklow-born Irishman Edward Bowen featured on the England team which played in the first ever football international in 1870 against Scotland, and also played in (and won) the first FA Cup Final in 1872, and repeated the feat in 1873.

His grandson, Dubliner Ian Stuart, won 2 caps in Rugby for Ireland in 1924, one of which was Irelands first international game at Ravenhill.Image attachment

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It us so good to see an Gaelgoir quote the famous Englishnan, the Duke of Wellington who presented the Catholic.Emancipation Act for signatur to the reining English monarch.

Being born in a stable doesn't make you a horse. He was English. Born in Ireland to English/Anglo parents. Hence, why he played for England.

This superb Northern Ireland Schoolboys FA shirt from 1994 gives a glimpse of what could easily have been the Republic of Ireland's home shirt design at the World Cup (given how many other teams used this template).

While it looks good, the distinct and unique design adopted for the famous win vs Italy and several pre-tournament friendlies has gone down as a permanent classic! 😀
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This superb Northern Ireland Schoolboys FA shirt from 1994 gives a glimpse of what could easily have been the Republic of Irelands home shirt design at the World Cup (given how many other teams used this template). 

While it looks good, the distinct and unique design adopted for the famous win vs Italy and several pre-tournament friendlies has gone down as a permanent classic! 😀

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The stripes in an Orange-White-Orange layout would have been good.

The crest🤔

Patrick Cullen

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2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the great Guaranteed Irish brand. From a sports perspective, the closest and clearest connection was with the GAA.

For many years 2 GAA rules combined to enhance this visibility – 1. All equipment had to be Irish-made 2. No corporate sponsorships on jerseys were allowed (so manufacturers names were not allowed, and extra sponsors could not be added).

As the Guaranteed Irish brand was seen as a logo personification of Irishness, it was deemed acceptable, and several variants then adorned shirts up to 1994, when the GAA rules were finally relaxed to allow both manufacturers logos and shirt sponsors.

Each manufacturer has their own “take” on the GI logo, O’Neills with a large and a small circular logo, Connolly with a Star logo, and Adidas with a “Three Stripe” version. What was your favourite?

As an aside, the earliest reference to the GAA and Guaranteed Irish was a purely coincidental one, as seen from this Irish Independent note from January 27th, 1929, when Dublin GAA club Wanderers GAA Club Ballyboden were subject to some fairly harsh rule treatment, even by GAA standards! 😊
... See MoreSee Less

2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the great Guaranteed Irish brand.  From a sports perspective, the closest and clearest connection was with the GAA.

For many years 2 GAA rules combined to enhance this visibility – 1. All equipment had to be Irish-made 2. No corporate sponsorships on jerseys were allowed (so manufacturers names were not allowed, and extra sponsors could not be added).  

As the Guaranteed Irish brand was seen as a logo personification of Irishness, it was deemed acceptable, and several variants then adorned shirts up to 1994, when the GAA rules were finally relaxed to allow both manufacturers logos and shirt sponsors.

Each manufacturer has their own “take” on the GI logo, O’Neills with a large and a small circular logo, Connolly with a Star logo, and Adidas with a “Three Stripe” version. What was your favourite?

As an aside, the earliest reference to the GAA and Guaranteed Irish was a purely coincidental one, as seen from this Irish Independent note from January 27th, 1929, when Dublin GAA club Wanderers GAA Club Ballyboden were subject to some fairly harsh rule treatment, even by GAA standards! 😊Image attachmentImage attachment+1Image attachment

2 CommentsComment on Facebook

brilliant info. thanks for sharing

Wanderers GAA Club Ballyboden

10 years ago one of our directors Barry Rojack researched and co-wrote this article for the official Evertonian magazine, as they were doing a St Patrick's Days special on the basis of the 5 irish internationals in the first team squad (shane duffy, darron gibson, Aiden mcgeady, seamus coleman and james mccarthy).

A flag they designed prior to that is often seen at everton and ireland games carried by the Irish Toffees supporters club - interestingly, such was the historic level of Irish (all island) international players playing for Everton, one of the first written references to a travelling supporters club is of the irish everton supporters club meeting at dalymount in the 1930s to catch the overnight slow boat to Merseyside is detailed in Brendan's brother Dominic Behans autobiographical book Teems of Times and Happy Returns (this was also made into a tv series in the 1970s, I dont know if the boat trips made the tv!). Brendan himself was arrested in a flat in Everton as a 16 year old when plotting to bomb Liverpool docks.

Please note a number of ommissions and additions have raised their heads since 2014, including Brian Quinn (Northern Ireland and USA), Charlie O'Hagan, the famous/notorious Archie Goodall, alf ringstead, gerry mullan, roy coyle's son darrin, alan kelly junior following his dads footsteps as goalkeeping coach, tom cannon, harry charsley, sam byrne (brother of former leinster and ireland winger adam), pat dunne, jack Patterson, isaac price, gerry mullan, matty kennedy, and sean McAlliste

Everton FC – An Irish Tradition

2 March 2014

An Irish presence on the field and in the dugout has permeated Everton's history since all the way back to the latter part of the 19th century. More Irish internationals have pulled on the blue shirt of Everton than any other club in Britain, and several toffees from the Emerald Isle have gone on to manage at the club and their country at international level over the last 136 years.

The first Irish international to play first team at Everton was John “Jack” Kirwan. Kirwan was an accomplished sportsman in Ireland, winning an All Ireland Gaelic Football Championship with Dublin (ironic as he was a Wicklow man) in 1894, before travelling to Lancashire. After leaving the Blues (following Scot John Cameron to London), Kirwan was outside-left on the famous Spurs team would later go on to be the first and thusfar only non-league winners of the FA Cup. At international level he was on the Irish team which shared the Home Championship in 1903, and later in his life became the first professional manager of Ajax in 1910 (during his tenure he saw them promoted to the top flight for the first time in 1911).

James Sheridan was the first Belfast native to play for the Blues, lining up in the 1902 and 1903 seasons. Then the first big influx of Irish talent made a long-term mark at Goodison Park in the years leading up to World War 1. First came goalkeeper Billy Scott, a giant of a man from Belfast, signed from the famous Linfield club in 1904, and won the FA Cup at the Crystal Palace in 1906, keeping a clean sheet against the fancied Newcastle United, one appearance among an staggering 289 league appearances in 8 years at the club (although his legacy was possibly more keenly felt after he departed, when, much to his annoyance, he felt he had to recommend his younger brother Elisha to arch-rivals Liverpool, when a trial at the Blues proved unsuccessful). Billy was in nets for the Irish national team (Ireland not having been politically divided at this stage, and also, incidentally, playing in blue in those days!) for 10 years and shared the Home Championship with former blue Kirwan in 1903.

Val Harris (who, similar to Kirwan, had won an All Ireland Gaelic Football Championship with Dublin, this time in 1901), from the famous hotbed of football talent Rinsgend (under the shadow of Lansdowne Road stadium), joined Everton from Shelbourne in 1908. Val was a tremendous footballer and a gentleman, generally regarded as one of the best ever to have played in Ireland or at Everton. He played an unbelievable 214 times for the Blues (predominantly in the rough-and-tumble position of defender, although he was so good he actually played in all positions on the pitch, other than in nets, at both club and international level across his career) between 1908 and 1914, the latter end of his career effectively playing with the use of only one leg after a horrendous tackle in a game against Spurs badly damaged his knee. Val was captain of the first Irish side to beat England, on a famous day in Windsor Park in 1913, and played with other former Blues John Houston and Billy Lacey on the Irish team that won the Home Championship outright in 1913. But for God Val may never have played for Everton – he originally signed terms with Aston Villa on a train, however Everton successfully argued that as the contract had been signed on a Sunday it was invalid for religious reasons, and they nabbed his signature – it wasn’t cheap though, at £350 Val was an English-record signing at the time, as that was the most permitted to be spent by the Football League at that time. For all his talent, Val was not an scorer of many goals – he only got 2 in his time with the Blues, the second occasion being parodied in the local press as indicating the end of the world was nigh, so improbable the feat was considered! Val went back to Dublin to play for and then manage his beloved Shelbourne, and also was the first manager of the Irish Free State team (the country having split in political and international football terms at this stage). An interesting side note of Val’s was that he was terrified of sea voyages and got incredibly se sick on his many ferry crossings between Dublin or Belfast and Liverpool. Nonetheless, he manned up for the epic famous boat trip to Argentina when the combined squads of Everton and Tottenham Hotspur (with several Irish players across the two sides) first brought the beautiful game to South America.

A year after Val joined the blues, his close friend (and best man at his wedding in Liverpool!) Wexford-man Billy Lacey followed from Shelbourne to Goodison Park. Billy was also a very accomplished footballer but sadly only stayed with the Blues for 3 years (scoring an impressive 11 goals in 30 league games), before surprisingly crossing Stanley Park to join Liverpool (at the Reds, Lacey was on the first Liverpool side to reach the FA Cup final, losing out to Burnley in 1914). Billy was a hardy man and his strength allowed him to play at a high level for a very extended period. He played for the pre-partition Ireland side 23 times between 1909 and 1924 (including 2 goals at Ayresome Park against England in 1914 to clinch the Home Nations Championship), then following partition he played for the Irish Free State (under the management of close-friend Val), before turning put for the Republic of Ireland side in their first ever game against Italy in 1927 at the age of 37 (he played his last game for the Republic at international level in May 1930 v Belgium, at the age of 41), Lacey then went on to manage the national side for several years in the 1930s.

The strength of the Everton side In this time, young Belfastman Alec MacCartney was afforded his international debut for Ireland while a reserve at the Blues (he never actually made the first team while at Everton) – a similar feat was achieved by Joe Kendrick who played for the Republic of Ireland in 1927 whilst in Everton’s reserves, and who also never played a game of first team football at the club.

Ballymena native John Houston also played for Everton across the 1913 season (28 games and 2 goals in the league) and also starred alongside Harris and Lacey in the Irish side which won the 1913 Home Championship. Houston was a leader on and off the field – he joined the Royal Irish Rifles during the Great War, where he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. As was reported at the time “During an attack on the enemy’s lines, all the officers being put out of action, Sergeant Houston took command of his platoon. He led the attack in the face of a murderous fire, advanced 200 yards, and succeeded in taking and holding the objective for thirty-six hours, before help arrived”.

Following the end of World War 1, Lisburn-born Bobby Irvine was signed in 1921 and stayed with the Blues for 6 seasons. Bobby was a real all rounder – an exciting forward with fantastic ball control, but well able to look after himself. Dixie Dean recalled that on his first trip to Old Trafford United's notorious hard man Frank Barson left the pitch with broken bones when Irvine retaliated on Dixie’s behalf after Barson had clocked the young prodigy with a fist to the chin. Bobby went onto play in Everton's championship winning team of 1928 but injuries eventually got the better of his career at Goodison. At international level he had a good 10 year career, but is best remembered for his role in 2-1 and 2-0 defeats by Northern Ireland of England at Windsor Park in 1923 and 1927, and for his goal that gave his country a 3-2 lead at Anfield in 1926.
Cookstown goalkeeper Alfie Harland minded the nets for Everton 70 teams in 3 years in the 20s, having played twice for Northern Ireland in 1922.

Coleraine native Billy Cook came to Goodison with much fanfare from Glasgow Celtic in 1932. He was a fine right back but nearly cost himself his place in the 1933 FA Cup Final when the Directors found out he had gone for a drink the night before the game. However, the players turned the tables and rallied to his defence. Billy played well that day and the team brought the cup back to Merseyside, and subsequently went on to win a league winners medal with the club in 1939. Billy later went on to manage in Norway and the Peruvian national team.

The following year, Jackie Coulter and Alex Stevenson made the switch to the blue of Everton. Jackie – a Belfast native and exciting winger (earning the nickname “the Jazz Winger” while with the Blues) with unusually large (size 12) feet signed from Belfast Celtic, and Alex – a slight and highly talented inside forward from Dublin – were two of the best players in the game in the 1930s. Jackie’s high point at Goodison was a hat-trick in a 6-4 fourth round replay game v Sunderland. At international level he earned rave reviews for sparkling displays but the Northern Ireland team was not going through a successful patch. Alex remains one of Everton's all time leading goal scorers. He was a big part of the 1939 championship winning team but saw what would have been the prime of his career overtaken by the onset of war (during which he joined, and flew with, the RAF) but made it back to Everton after the war where he played until 1949. Alex was one of the few played who were so highly regarded that they were selected for and played for both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (both teams claiming eligibility over players born on the island, an open practice which was only intervened with by FIFA in 1950 following a player playing for both teams in the same set of World Cup qualifiers). Bizarrely having made his debut for the Republic of Ireland team in 1932, he was not selected again for the Republic until 14 years later in 1946 (the matter was of such astonishment that Stevenson approached both Everton secretary-manager Theo Kelly and FAI secretary Joe Wickham for an explanation, before he was recalled. However during this gap he also played for Northern Ireland on 19 occasions, scoring 5 goals. Alex went on to manage the Republic of Ireland national side for 2 years between 1953 and 1955, affirming there were no hard feelings over the inexplicable 14 year snub.

Of course the connection between Everton Ireland wasn’t just one-way traffic across the Irish Sea. Several non-Irish toffees spent time in Ireland as players and managers, including Alex “Golden Vision” Young at Glentoran and Derek Mountfield at Cork City probably the two most well known managers. However in a very short time period towards his retirement, Dixie Dean endeared himself to Ireland, and Ireland endeared itself to Dixie, during a season playing with Connacht-based club Sligo Rovers in 1939. In the league, Dixie scored 10 goals in 7 games, and in the Cup he led the side all the way to the final, scoring in the first game (which finished 1-1) before losing the replay. Shortly after the lost replay, Dixie’s runners up medal was stolen from his hotel room. When Sligo made the final again 39 years later in 1978, Dixie was asked to lead the team out as guest of honour. Having done so, he was astounded when a package was delivered to his hotel room with the medal inside and a brief apology!

Dixie’s affinity for Ireland was reflected in the name of his pub which he ran for several years, the Dublin Packet. Dixie’s international
political influence is generally best recalled by the story form the Second World War when an Italian prisoner-of-war captured by British Troops in the Western Desert told his captors that they could “f**k (their) Winston Churchill and f**k (their) Dixie Dean”, but even in Ireland Dixie had the ability to transcend sport into politics. Larne native and future Everton trialist and scout Matt McPeake was sent a telegraph asking him to sign for Sligo. His mother was not impressed – “You’re not going down there playing amongst those Republicans on a Sunday, blackening the Sabbath” she said. On being informed of Dixie’s presence at Sligo, however, Matt’s mum quickly changed here tune – “Oh, if Dixie Dean’s there you can go. Yes, by all means”!!!!

The late 40's saw Everton adopt an active policy of recruiting from Ireland. The double signing of the mercurial Irish captain and legend Peter Farrell at right-half and Tommy Eglington as an outside-left from Shamrock Rovers in 1946 remains one of the best pieces of business the club ever did, and forged a decades-lasting relationship between the two famous clubs (under which Everton would regularly travel to Dublin for pre-season friendlies). The two Dubliners had the benefit of having played in a competitive league during the war years as Ireland remained neutral during hostilities. They were not quick to sign ­ rationing of basic supplies was still very much a reality in Britain after the war, so the lifestyle back home was not unappealling. However sign they did and went on to be both Irish and Everotn legends. Both Tommy and Peter held the same distincition as Alex of being selected for both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland at that time, Tommy and Peter both featuring a stunning performance in a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park against England, and Peter going one better scoring a delightful chipped goal for the Republic in their 2-0 defeat of England at Goodison Park in 1948, England first defeat to a “foreign” (i.e. non-British) side on home soil (several months before the “Mighty Magyars” lorded it at Wembley).

They would end up playing at Everton with other Irish internationals such as Peter Corr (who also played for the Republic that day against Goodison), goalkeeper Jimmy O'Neill, Tommy Clinton, George Cummins and Don Donovan. It is at this point that major interest in Everton began to develop in Ireland. It was the age of the wireless and seeing your heroes in action meant a trip to the game. The colony of Irish players in Goodison during the fifties offered Irish fans the chance to see their compatriots play almost every week and fans flocked across the Irish Sea to support Everton, although the Everton team itself went through a bit of a barren run, being relegate d(but then subsequently promoted again) for only the second time in their history. On a side note, Peter Corr’s nephew and nieces went on to international musical stardom as the band “the Corrs” – a link which was somewhat reversed years later when Pádraig Drew, nephew of famous Irish ballad singer Ronnie Drew (of the Dubliners band), won the FA Youth Cup as an Everotn player (although he never went on to make a first team appearance).

Jimmy O'Neill, a gentle giant with shovels for hands, was one of those players they came to see, continuing a long line of Irish goalkeepers at Everton (although he initially trialled unsuccessfully with the club as a young striker!). Jimmy was a gentleman and an Evertonian through and through, and was a proficient all round sportsman – he was a Junior Champion golf player when he signed for the Blues. He kept goal for Everton from 1949 to 1960. His career was cut short with Everton by then manager Johnny “Jackie” Carey, a fellow Dubliner who had made wartime appearances with Everton suring WW2, but was a staunch and successful Manchester United player for most of his career), and who also managed Ireland at international level. In a conversation with Jimmy in 2004 he revealed that there had been a difference of opinion regarding travel arrangements between him and Carey on the return leg of an international game away to Czechslovakia. Following a game away to Arsenal in 1960 Carey spoke to Jimmy about his performance. Apparently Carey thought that it was time to give Albert Dunlop his chance in goal. Jimmy had heard enough and told Carey to sell him to which Carey responded "I've been trying to get rid of you for the past six months!" Jimmy left for Stoke but Everton never left him. After football he ran a taxi business and even though he suffered with terrible back pain he attended games right up until he died. You just knew that Jimmy was a true Evertonian because a defeat still had the effect of hurting him.

Tommy Clinton was another tough full back. When transferring from Dundalk in 1948 he was famously signed through a carriage window at Dundalk train station, somewhat recanting how Val Harris had been signed many years earlier. He is remembered mainly for a missed penalty kick against Bolton in an FA Cup semi final in 1953 but he should really be remembered for his uncompromising style and winning attitude. He was sold to Blackburn in 1955 but he did not like it there ­ the daily commute was arduous and he only played a handful of games before signing for Tranmere. He may have left Everton but Everton never really left him. He lived just a stone's throw from Goodison Park and his wife Muriel worked in the ticket office at Goodison.

Don Donovan was plucked from the obscurity of amateur football in Ireland. The directors, while on a pre­season tour of Ireland went for an evening walk in a nearby park. Don Donovan stood out head and shoulders above everybody else on the pitch. He was quickly signed and became a stalwart of the side that won promotion back to the top flight.

The 60's brought Mick Meagan and Billy Bingham to Everton and saw them both pick up a league winners medal in 1963. Mick went on to manage Ireland and also worked in the Central Mental Hospital in Dublin where he also managed and played for their football team well into his sixties! Northern Ireland international Jimmy Hill (not he of the giant chin) also shortly featured for the Blues in this time, and Belfast man and Northern Irish international Tommy Jackson also featured for 2 solid seasons in the late 1960s.

Billy Bingham went on to manage Everton and was unlucky not to win the league in 1975. He had a great playing career with Northern Ireland, playing in the World Cup and then going on to manage the side at two world cups as well as winning the last home championship in 1984. Billy also managed a number of his compatriots at club level at Everton including the mercurial Dave Clements (who was player-manager of Northern Ireland while at Everton, highly unusual in modern football), Peter Scott (a well-liked scouser who was eligible to play for Northern Ireland through parentage) and Bryan Hamilton (who would also go on to manage the Northern Ireland side in 1994). It was of course Hamilton's "goal" in the 1977 FA Cup semi final that still rankles to this day.

The arrival of Martin Murray at Everton in 1975 was surrounded by huge publicity. Martin was heralded as the next George Best but his time at Everton was beset with misfortune. His registration was held up when the league refused to accept it following claims that he was offered £12000 by a manager to move to England. An inquiry followed and his registration was eventually accepted after six weeks. While playing in the 1977 Youth Cup Final he broke his hand but worse was to follow. He was the recipient of a dreadful tackle from a Leeds player in a reserve team game in 1979 which smashed his knee. The final blow came in 1980 when he announced that he was quitting due to a heart condition. He never got to realise his full potential ­ a story all too common in football.
The late 70's saw Michael Walsh, Mickey Walsh (who scored a terrific volleyed goal for the Republic of Ireland against Russia, and would later play for Porto against Juventus in the cup Winners Cup final), Eamon O'Keefe and Jim “Seamus” McDonagh come to Everton. McDonagh only stayed a season but proved to be a colourful character in the dressing room. O'Keefe was a real battler. He was a bundle of energy and always gave a hundred percent. The late 70s also saw former Northern Ireland international Tommy Casey coming into the club as assistant manager under Gordon Lee.

Kevin Sheedy signed for Everton in 1981 and was the perhaps the most prolific Irish signing by Everton in recent memory in terms of the impact he could have on a game. He also forever endeared himself to Irish fans by scoring the equaliser against England in Sardinia in the opening Group Stage Game of the 1990 World Cup (capitalising on a slip by former blue-turned-red Steve McMahon). He had a magic wand for a left foot. His goals against Ipswich in the FA Cup quarter final and in the semi final against Luton in 1985 were fine examples of how important a player he was to Everton, and his goal which sealed the deal against Rapid Vienna in the 1985 Cup Winners cup final was one of the most clinical finishes you could see, at vital time shortly after the Austrians had pulled on e back). Of course that epic European adventure in 1985 started with a trip to Dublin to play UCD in the 1st round of the Cup Winners Cup, a game which was tighter than expected and only a late miss from UCD striker Joe Hanrahan in the closing minutes of the second leg at Goodison Park denied the Students an away goal which would have sealed their passage at Everton’s expense.

Throughout the 1980s, Neville southall was arguably the best goalkeeper in the world - it wasnt always thus however, and his fortunes changed for the better when former ireland goalkeeper and one time national team manager Alan Kelly Senior took over as his goalkeeping coach, his young sons Alan junior and Garry both watching and learning along the way.

Sadly, Everton were to be denied a treble of trophies in 1985 by another Irishman and future Everton player, Norman Whiteside, with a goal worthy of winning any game.
Norman was arguably the best Irish player to pull on a shirt for Everton, albeit for a short period of time. A star for Northern Ireland at the age of 17 he broke Pele's record as the youngest player ever to appear at a World Cup finals in 1982. His best position was as a central midfield. He had everything required of a player in that role. His presence of mind could create the time to make the right pass at the right time. He rarely gave the ball away and could score as well as set up goals. His one weakness was probably a lack of pace but the severity of his injuries robbed him of that. It also robbed Everton of a fantastic player ­ he gave his best for Everton but his best days were at Manchester United. Injuries forced him to retire a 26 ­ a big loss for Everton and the game of football. He still managed an impressive 13 goals in 35 games in his one season for the Blues.

The Irish goalkeeping tradition at Everton continued in the mid 1980s to early 1990s as first Northern Ireland’s legendary goalkeeper Pat Jennings joined in 1986 to cover for Neville Southall’s absence through injury (training keeping him sharp for the 1986 World cup), and then subsequently the Republic of Ireland’s Gerry Peyton joined between 1991 and 1993 as Neville Southall’s understudy.

The 1990's saw the arrival of several more Irish internationals including iain jenkins, Mike Milligan, Terry Phelan, Gareth Farrelly and Richard Dunne. Dunne is a tough, honest pro and continues to give his all. He perhaps best typifies a modern day Mick Lyons at international level. Gareth Farrelly had one sublime moment with Everton ­ perhaps one of the most important in the club's history when he scored against Coventry in the last game of the season in 1998 to maintain the club's top flight status.

Everton's first Irish signing of the 21st century was Lee Carsley, one of the last acts of Walter Smith’s tumultuous reign. He eventually found his niche under David Moyes as a defensive midfielder. His contribution from deep lying positions and his partnership with Thomas Gravesen helped drive Everton from relegation contenders to champions league quaification in 2005. His goal against Liverpool in 2004 broke a 5 year winless streak in derby games. Carsley’s appearances at international level were limited by being in direct competition for a place with Roy Keane, arguably Ireland greatest central midfielder of all time, however he still amassed several dozen caps and his dedication was rewarded by a brief cameo appearance at the 2002 World Cup against Saudi Arabia in the Group Stage. Kevin Kilbane had been signed in 2003 and the energy and honesty in his displays was well appreciated by Evertonians. Kevin gave everything for Everton, his strength and tenacity was best exemplified when he got the opportunity to run at the opposition. He always had time for the fans and still gives up a lot of time for charities, something his best friend Carsley also spends a lot of time doing. Kevin holds the record for unbroken consecutive competitive appearances at international level for the Republic of Ireland (66; only Billy Wright at 70 consecutive competitive caps holds a longer record in the world), and played in several positions on the pitch in that time, and by the time he had retired he amassed 110 caps.

The current crop of Irish players at Goodison are an exciting band of brothers. Seamus Coleman was an amazing find. His career is a virtue of hard work and dedication and he continues to exceed expectations. He has come a long way from his baptism of fire away to Benfica in the Europa League. Darron Gibson has been an important player for Everton over the past couple of seasons. The team loses very few games when he is in the side. There are not too many players who can strike a ball like he can. It is important that he comes back from injury soon as the style deployed by Roberto Martinez sees the team now playing passing football all over the pitch, something which was not a constant under the previous regime.

James McCarthy has been a revelation at central midfield this season. We are yet to see the best from McCarthy. He can run at defences and has the footballing intelligence to know when to make the decision to attack while not leaving the team exposed. Aiden McGeady adds a level of trickery on the wing that we have not had since Andrei Kancheskis. It is crucial that he builds a relationship with the supporting full back and players around him. His biggest issue will be getting enough game time at the highest level. Let’s hope he gets the chance to shine.

Last but not least, Shane Duffy. Duffy is no doubt a talented player. He made his debut away at AEK Athens as a 17 year old. His display alongside Seamus Coleman that night was faultless as the blues went on to win 1­0. He was lucky to survive a freak accident while playing in a practice match with Ireland. The presence of an ambulance at pitch side that day saved his life. His reading of the game is top quality and he is a goal scoring threat from set pieces. The fear is that without getting a consistent run in the side he may leave for another club to gain that stability.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum
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10 years ago one of our directors Barry Rojack researched and co-wrote this article for the official Evertonian magazine, as they were doing a St Patricks Days special on the basis of the 5 irish internationals in the first team squad (shane duffy, darron gibson, Aiden mcgeady, seamus coleman and james mccarthy).  

A flag they designed prior to that is often seen at everton and ireland games carried by the Irish Toffees supporters club - interestingly, such was the historic level of Irish (all island) international players playing for Everton, one of the first written references to a travelling supporters club is of the irish everton supporters club meeting at dalymount in the 1930s to catch the overnight slow boat to Merseyside is detailed in Brendans brother Dominic Behans autobiographical book Teems of Times and Happy Returns (this was also made into a tv series in the 1970s, I dont know if the boat trips made the tv!).  Brendan himself was arrested in a flat in Everton as a 16 year old when plotting to bomb Liverpool docks.

Please note a number of ommissions and additions have raised their heads since 2014, including Brian Quinn (Northern Ireland and USA), Charlie OHagan, the famous/notorious Archie Goodall, alf ringstead, gerry mullan, roy coyles son darrin, alan kelly junior following his dads footsteps as goalkeeping coach, tom cannon, harry charsley, sam byrne (brother of former leinster and ireland winger adam), pat dunne, jack Patterson, isaac price, gerry mullan, matty kennedy, and sean McAlliste

Everton FC – An Irish Tradition

2 March 2014

An Irish presence on the field and in the dugout has permeated Evertons history since all the way back to the latter part of the 19th century.  More Irish internationals have pulled on the blue shirt of Everton than any other club in Britain, and several toffees from the Emerald Isle have gone on to manage at the club and their country at international level over the last 136 years.

The first Irish international to play first team at Everton was John “Jack” Kirwan. Kirwan was an accomplished sportsman in Ireland, winning an All Ireland Gaelic Football Championship with Dublin (ironic as he was a Wicklow man) in 1894, before travelling to Lancashire.  After leaving the Blues (following Scot John Cameron to London), Kirwan was outside-left on the famous Spurs team would later go on to be the first and thusfar only non-league winners of the FA Cup.  At international level he was on the Irish team which shared the Home Championship in 1903, and later in his life became the first professional manager of Ajax in 1910 (during his tenure he saw them promoted to the top flight for the first time in 1911). 

James Sheridan was the first Belfast native to play for the Blues, lining up in the 1902 and 1903 seasons.   Then the first big influx of Irish talent made a long-term mark at Goodison Park in the years leading up to World War 1.  First came goalkeeper Billy Scott, a giant of a man from Belfast, signed from the famous Linfield club in 1904, and won the FA Cup at the Crystal Palace in 1906, keeping a clean sheet against the  fancied Newcastle United, one appearance among an staggering 289 league appearances in 8 years at the club (although his legacy was possibly more keenly felt after he departed, when, much to his annoyance, he felt he had to recommend his younger brother Elisha to arch-rivals Liverpool, when a trial at the Blues proved unsuccessful).  Billy was in nets for the Irish national team (Ireland not having been politically divided at this stage, and also, incidentally, playing in blue in those days!) for 10 years and shared the Home Championship with former blue Kirwan in 1903.

Val Harris (who, similar to Kirwan, had won an All Ireland Gaelic Football Championship with Dublin, this time in 1901), from the famous hotbed of football talent Rinsgend (under the shadow of Lansdowne Road stadium), joined Everton from Shelbourne in 1908.  Val was a tremendous footballer and a gentleman, generally regarded as one of the best ever to have played in Ireland or at Everton.   He played an unbelievable 214 times for the Blues (predominantly in the rough-and-tumble position of defender, although he was so good he actually played in all positions on the pitch, other than in nets, at both club and international level across his career) between 1908 and 1914, the latter end of his career effectively playing with the use of only one leg after a horrendous tackle in a game against Spurs badly damaged his knee.  Val was captain of the first Irish side to beat England, on a famous day in Windsor Park in 1913, and played with other former Blues John Houston and Billy Lacey on the Irish team that won the Home Championship outright in 1913.  But for God Val may never have played for Everton – he originally signed terms with Aston Villa on a train, however Everton successfully argued that as the contract had been signed on a Sunday it was invalid for religious reasons, and they nabbed his signature – it wasn’t cheap though, at £350 Val was an English-record signing at the time, as that was the most permitted to be spent by the Football League at that time.     For all his talent, Val was not an scorer of many goals – he only got 2 in his time with the Blues, the second occasion being parodied in the local press as indicating the end of the world was nigh, so improbable the feat was considered!  Val went back to Dublin to play for and then manage his beloved Shelbourne, and also was the first manager of the Irish Free State team (the country having split in political and international football terms at this stage).  An interesting side note of Val’s was that he was terrified of sea voyages and got incredibly se sick on his many ferry crossings between Dublin or Belfast and Liverpool.  Nonetheless, he manned up for the epic famous boat trip to Argentina when the combined squads of Everton and Tottenham Hotspur (with several Irish players across the two sides) first brought the beautiful game to South America.

A year after Val joined the blues, his close friend (and best man at his wedding in Liverpool!) Wexford-man Billy Lacey followed from Shelbourne to Goodison Park.  Billy was also a very accomplished footballer but sadly only stayed with the Blues for 3 years (scoring an impressive 11 goals in 30 league games), before surprisingly crossing Stanley Park to join Liverpool (at the Reds, Lacey was on the first Liverpool side to reach the FA Cup final, losing out to Burnley in 1914).  Billy was a hardy man and his strength allowed him to play at a high level for a very extended period.  He played for the pre-partition Ireland side 23 times between 1909 and 1924 (including 2 goals at Ayresome Park against England in 1914 to clinch the Home Nations Championship), then following partition he played for the Irish Free State (under the management of close-friend Val), before turning put for the Republic of Ireland side in their first ever game against Italy in 1927 at the age of 37 (he played his last game for the Republic at international level in May 1930 v Belgium, at the age of 41),  Lacey then went on to manage the national side for several years in the 1930s.

The strength of the Everton side In this time, young Belfastman Alec MacCartney was afforded his international debut for Ireland while a reserve at the Blues (he never actually made the first team while at Everton) – a similar feat was achieved by Joe Kendrick who played for the Republic of Ireland in 1927 whilst in Everton’s reserves, and who also never played a game of first team football at the club.

Ballymena native John Houston also played for Everton across the 1913 season (28 games and 2 goals in the league) and also starred alongside Harris and Lacey in the Irish side which won the 1913 Home Championship.  Houston was a leader on and off the field – he joined the Royal Irish Rifles during the Great War, where he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. As was reported at the time “During an attack on the enemy’s lines, all the officers being put out of action, Sergeant Houston took command of his platoon.   He led the attack in the face of a murderous fire, advanced 200 yards, and succeeded in taking and holding the objective for thirty-six hours, before help arrived”.

Following the end of World War 1, Lisburn-born  Bobby Irvine was signed in 1921 and stayed with the Blues for 6 seasons.  Bobby was a real all rounder – an exciting forward with fantastic ball control, but well able to look after himself. Dixie Dean recalled that on his first trip to Old Trafford Uniteds notorious hard man Frank Barson left the pitch with broken bones when Irvine retaliated on Dixie’s behalf after Barson had clocked the young prodigy with a fist to the chin. Bobby went onto play in Evertons championship winning team of 1928 but injuries eventually got the better of his career at Goodison.   At international level he had a good 10 year career, but is  best remembered for his role in 2-1 and 2-0 defeats by Northern Ireland of England at Windsor Park in 1923 and 1927, and for his goal that gave his country a 3-2 lead at Anfield in 1926.
Cookstown goalkeeper Alfie Harland minded the nets for Everton 70 teams in 3 years in the 20s, having played twice for Northern Ireland in 1922.

Coleraine native Billy Cook came to Goodison with much fanfare from Glasgow Celtic in 1932. He was a fine right back but nearly cost himself his place in the 1933 FA Cup Final when the Directors found out he had gone for a drink the night before the game. However, the players turned the tables and rallied to his defence. Billy played well that day and the team brought the cup back to Merseyside, and subsequently went on to win a league winners medal with the club in 1939.   Billy later went on to manage in Norway and the Peruvian national team. 

The following year, Jackie Coulter and Alex Stevenson made the switch to the blue of Everton.  Jackie – a Belfast native and exciting winger (earning the nickname “the Jazz Winger” while with the Blues) with unusually large (size 12) feet signed from Belfast Celtic, and Alex – a slight and highly talented inside forward from Dublin – were two of the best players in the game in the 1930s.  Jackie’s high point at Goodison was a hat-trick in a 6-4 fourth round replay game v Sunderland.  At international level he earned rave reviews for sparkling displays but the Northern Ireland team was not going through a  successful patch.  Alex remains one of Evertons all time leading goal scorers. He was a big part of the 1939 championship winning team but saw what would have been the prime of his career overtaken by the onset of war (during which he joined, and flew with, the RAF) but made it back to Everton after the war where he played until 1949.  Alex was one of the few played who were so highly regarded that they were selected for and played for both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (both teams claiming eligibility over players born on the island, an open practice which was only intervened with by FIFA in 1950 following a player playing for both teams in the same set of World Cup qualifiers).  Bizarrely having made his debut for the Republic of Ireland team in 1932, he was not selected again for the Republic until 14 years later in 1946 (the matter was of such astonishment that Stevenson approached both Everton secretary-manager Theo Kelly and FAI secretary Joe Wickham for an explanation, before he was recalled.  However during this gap he also played for Northern Ireland on 19 occasions, scoring 5 goals.   Alex went on to manage the Republic of Ireland national side for 2 years between 1953 and 1955, affirming there were no hard feelings over the inexplicable 14 year snub.

Of course the connection between Everton Ireland wasn’t just one-way traffic across the Irish Sea.  Several non-Irish toffees spent time in Ireland as players and managers, including Alex “Golden Vision” Young at Glentoran and Derek Mountfield at Cork City probably the two most well known managers.  However in a very short time period towards his retirement, Dixie Dean endeared himself to Ireland, and Ireland endeared itself to Dixie, during a season playing with Connacht-based club Sligo Rovers in 1939.  In the league, Dixie scored 10 goals in 7 games, and in the Cup he led the side all the way to the final, scoring in the first game (which finished 1-1) before losing the replay.  Shortly after the lost replay, Dixie’s runners up medal was stolen from his hotel room.  When Sligo made the final again 39 years later in 1978, Dixie was asked to lead the team out as guest of honour. Having done so, he was astounded when a package was delivered to his hotel room with the medal inside and a brief apology! 

Dixie’s affinity for Ireland was reflected in the name of his pub which he ran for several years, the Dublin Packet.  Dixie’s international 
political influence is generally best recalled by the story  form the Second World War when an Italian prisoner-of-war captured by British Troops in the Western Desert told his captors that they could “f**k (their) Winston  Churchill and f**k (their) Dixie Dean”, but even in Ireland Dixie had the ability to transcend sport into politics.  Larne native and future Everton trialist and scout Matt McPeake was sent a telegraph asking him to sign for Sligo.  His mother was not impressed – “You’re not going down there playing amongst those Republicans on a Sunday, blackening the Sabbath” she said. On being informed of Dixie’s presence at Sligo, however, Matt’s mum quickly changed here tune – “Oh, if Dixie Dean’s there you can go.  Yes, by all means”!!!!

The late 40s saw Everton adopt an active policy of recruiting from Ireland. The double signing of the mercurial Irish captain and legend Peter Farrell at right-half and Tommy Eglington as an outside-left from Shamrock Rovers in 1946 remains one of the best pieces of business the club ever did, and forged a decades-lasting relationship between the two famous clubs (under which Everton would regularly travel to Dublin for pre-season friendlies).   The two Dubliners had the benefit of having played in a competitive league during the war years as Ireland remained neutral during hostilities. They were not quick to sign ­ rationing of basic supplies was still very much a reality in Britain after the war, so the lifestyle back home was not unappealling.   However sign they did and went on to be both Irish and Everotn legends.  Both Tommy and Peter held the same distincition as Alex of being selected for both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland at that time, Tommy and Peter both featuring a stunning performance in a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park against England, and Peter going one better scoring a delightful chipped goal for the Republic in their 2-0 defeat of England at Goodison Park in 1948, England first defeat to a “foreign” (i.e. non-British) side on home soil (several months before the “Mighty Magyars” lorded it at Wembley).  

They would end up playing at Everton with other Irish internationals such as Peter Corr (who also played for the Republic that day against Goodison), goalkeeper Jimmy ONeill, Tommy Clinton, George Cummins and Don Donovan. It is at this point that major interest in Everton began to develop in Ireland. It was the age of the wireless and seeing your heroes in action meant a trip to the game. The colony of Irish players in Goodison during the fifties offered Irish fans the chance to see their compatriots play almost every week and fans flocked across the Irish Sea to support Everton, although the Everton team itself went through a bit of a barren run, being relegate d(but then subsequently promoted again) for only the second time in their history.  On a side note, Peter Corr’s nephew and nieces went on to international musical stardom as the band “the Corrs” – a link which was somewhat reversed years later when Pádraig Drew, nephew of famous Irish ballad singer Ronnie Drew (of the Dubliners band), won the FA Youth Cup as an Everotn player (although he never went on to make a first team appearance).

Jimmy ONeill, a gentle giant with shovels for hands, was one of those players they came to see, continuing a long line of Irish goalkeepers at Everton (although he initially trialled unsuccessfully with the club as a young striker!). Jimmy was a gentleman and an Evertonian through and through, and was a proficient all round sportsman – he was a Junior Champion golf player when he signed for the Blues. He kept goal for Everton from 1949 to 1960. His career was cut short with Everton by then manager Johnny “Jackie” Carey, a fellow Dubliner who had made wartime appearances with Everton suring WW2, but was a staunch and successful Manchester United player for most of his career), and who also managed Ireland at international level.  In a conversation with Jimmy in 2004 he revealed that there had been a difference of opinion regarding travel arrangements between him and Carey on the return leg of an international game away to Czechslovakia. Following a game away to Arsenal in 1960 Carey spoke to Jimmy about his performance. Apparently Carey thought that it was time to give Albert Dunlop his chance in goal. Jimmy had heard enough and told Carey to sell him to which Carey responded Ive been trying to get rid of you for the past six months! Jimmy left for Stoke but Everton never left him. After football he ran a taxi business and even though he suffered with terrible back pain he attended games right up until he died. You just knew that Jimmy was a true Evertonian because a defeat still had the effect of hurting him.

Tommy Clinton was another tough full back. When transferring from Dundalk in 1948 he was famously signed through a carriage window at Dundalk train station, somewhat recanting how Val Harris had been signed many years earlier. He is remembered mainly for a missed penalty kick against Bolton in an FA Cup semi final in 1953 but he should really be remembered for his uncompromising style and winning attitude. He was sold to Blackburn in 1955 but he did not like it there ­ the daily commute was arduous and he only played a handful of games before signing for Tranmere. He may have left Everton but Everton never really left him. He lived just a stones throw from Goodison Park and his wife Muriel worked in the ticket office at Goodison.

Don Donovan was plucked from the obscurity of amateur football in Ireland. The directors, while on a pre­season tour of Ireland went for an evening walk in a nearby park. Don Donovan stood out head and shoulders above everybody else on the pitch. He was quickly signed and became a stalwart of the side that won promotion back to the top flight.

The 60s brought Mick Meagan and Billy Bingham to Everton and saw them both pick up a league winners medal in 1963. Mick went on to manage Ireland and also worked in the Central Mental Hospital in Dublin where he also managed and played for their football team well into his sixties!  Northern Ireland international Jimmy Hill (not he of the giant chin) also shortly featured for the Blues in this time, and Belfast man and Northern Irish international Tommy Jackson also featured for 2 solid seasons in the late 1960s.

Billy Bingham went on to manage Everton and was unlucky not to win the league in 1975. He had a great playing career with Northern Ireland, playing in the World Cup and then going on to manage the side at two world cups as well as winning the last home championship in 1984. Billy also managed a number of his compatriots at club level at Everton including the mercurial Dave Clements (who was player-manager of Northern Ireland while at Everton, highly unusual in modern football), Peter Scott (a well-liked scouser who was eligible to play for Northern Ireland through parentage) and Bryan Hamilton (who would also go on to manage the Northern Ireland side in 1994). It was of course Hamiltons goal in the 1977 FA Cup semi final that still rankles to this day.  

The arrival of Martin Murray at Everton in 1975 was surrounded by huge publicity. Martin was heralded as the next George Best but his time at Everton was beset with misfortune. His registration was held up when the league refused to accept it following claims that he was offered £12000 by a manager to move to England. An inquiry followed and his registration was eventually accepted after six weeks. While playing in the 1977 Youth Cup Final he broke his hand but worse was to follow. He was the recipient of a dreadful tackle from a Leeds player in a reserve team game in 1979 which smashed his knee. The final blow came in 1980 when he announced that he was quitting due to a heart condition. He never got to realise his full potential ­ a story all too common in football.
The late 70s saw Michael Walsh, Mickey Walsh (who scored a terrific volleyed goal for the Republic of Ireland against Russia, and would later play for Porto against Juventus in the cup Winners Cup final), Eamon OKeefe and Jim “Seamus” McDonagh come to Everton.  McDonagh only stayed a season but proved to be a colourful character in the dressing room. OKeefe was a real battler. He was a bundle of energy and always gave a hundred percent.   The late 70s also saw former Northern Ireland international Tommy Casey coming into the club as assistant manager under Gordon Lee.

Kevin Sheedy signed for Everton in 1981 and was the perhaps the most prolific Irish signing by Everton in recent memory in terms of the impact he could have on a game. He also forever endeared himself to Irish fans by scoring the equaliser against England in Sardinia in the opening Group Stage Game of the 1990 World Cup (capitalising on a slip by former blue-turned-red Steve McMahon). He had a magic wand for a left foot. His goals against Ipswich in the FA Cup quarter final and in the semi final against Luton in 1985 were fine examples of how important a player he was to Everton, and his goal which sealed the deal against Rapid Vienna in the 1985 Cup Winners cup final was one of the most clinical finishes you could see, at vital time shortly after the Austrians had pulled on e back).  Of course that epic European adventure in 1985 started with a trip to Dublin to play UCD in the 1st round of the Cup Winners Cup, a game which was tighter than expected and only a late miss from UCD striker Joe Hanrahan in the closing minutes of the second leg at Goodison Park denied the Students an away goal which would have sealed their passage at Everton’s expense.   

Throughout the 1980s, Neville southall was arguably the best goalkeeper in the world - it wasnt always thus however, and his fortunes changed for the better when former ireland goalkeeper and one time national team manager Alan Kelly Senior took over as his goalkeeping coach, his young sons Alan junior and Garry both watching and learning along the way.

Sadly, Everton were to be denied a treble of trophies in 1985 by another Irishman and future Everton player, Norman Whiteside, with a goal worthy of winning any game.
Norman was arguably the best Irish player to pull on a shirt for Everton, albeit for a short period of time. A star for Northern Ireland at the age of 17 he broke Peles record as the youngest player ever to appear at a World Cup finals in 1982.  His best position was as a central midfield. He had everything required of a player in that role. His presence of mind could create the time to make the right pass at the right time. He rarely gave the ball away and could score as well as set up goals. His one weakness was probably a lack of pace but the severity of his injuries robbed him of that. It also robbed Everton of a fantastic player ­ he gave his best for Everton but his best days were at Manchester United. Injuries forced him to retire a 26 ­ a big loss for Everton and the game of football.  He still managed an impressive 13 goals in 35 games in his one season for the Blues.

The Irish goalkeeping tradition at Everton continued in the mid 1980s to early 1990s as first Northern Ireland’s legendary goalkeeper Pat Jennings joined in 1986 to cover for Neville Southall’s absence through injury (training keeping him sharp for the 1986 World cup), and then subsequently the Republic of Ireland’s Gerry Peyton joined between 1991 and 1993 as Neville Southall’s understudy.

The 1990s saw the arrival of several more Irish internationals including iain jenkins, Mike Milligan, Terry Phelan, Gareth Farrelly and Richard Dunne. Dunne is a tough, honest pro and continues to give his all. He perhaps best typifies a modern day Mick Lyons at international level. Gareth Farrelly had one sublime moment with Everton ­ perhaps one of the most important in the clubs history when he scored against Coventry in the last game of the season in 1998 to maintain the clubs top flight status.

Evertons first Irish signing of the 21st century was Lee Carsley, one of the last acts of Walter Smith’s tumultuous reign. He eventually found his niche under David Moyes as a defensive midfielder. His contribution from deep lying positions and his partnership with Thomas Gravesen helped drive Everton from relegation contenders to champions league quaification in 2005. His goal against Liverpool in 2004 broke a 5 year winless streak in derby games.   Carsley’s appearances at international level were limited by being in direct competition for a place with Roy Keane, arguably Ireland greatest central midfielder of all time, however he still amassed several dozen caps and his dedication was rewarded by a brief cameo appearance at the 2002 World Cup against Saudi Arabia in the Group Stage.  Kevin Kilbane had been signed in 2003 and the energy and honesty in his displays was well appreciated by Evertonians. Kevin gave everything for Everton, his strength and tenacity was best exemplified when he got the opportunity to run at the opposition.  He always had time for the fans and still gives up a lot of time for charities, something his best friend Carsley also spends a lot of time doing.  Kevin holds the record for unbroken consecutive competitive appearances at international level for the Republic of Ireland (66; only Billy Wright at 70 consecutive competitive caps holds a longer record in the world), and played in several positions on the pitch in that time, and by the time he had retired he amassed 110 caps.

The current crop of Irish players at Goodison are an exciting band of brothers. Seamus Coleman was an amazing find. His career is a virtue of hard work and dedication and he continues to exceed expectations. He has come a long way from his baptism of fire away to Benfica in the Europa League. Darron Gibson has been an important player for Everton over the past couple of seasons. The team loses very few games when he is in the side. There are not too many players who can strike a ball like he can. It is important that he comes back from injury soon as the style deployed by Roberto Martinez sees the team now playing passing football all over the pitch, something which was not a constant under the previous regime.

James McCarthy has been a revelation at central midfield this season. We are yet to see the best from McCarthy. He can run at defences and has the footballing intelligence to know when to make the decision to attack while not leaving the team exposed.  Aiden McGeady adds a level of trickery on the wing that we have not had since Andrei Kancheskis. It is crucial that he builds a relationship with the supporting full back and players around him. His biggest issue will be getting enough game time at the highest level. Let’s hope he gets the chance to shine.

Last but not least, Shane Duffy. Duffy is no doubt a talented player. He made his debut away at AEK Athens as a 17 year old. His display alongside Seamus Coleman that night was faultless as the blues went on to win 1­0. He was lucky to survive a freak accident while playing in a practice match with Ireland. The presence of an ambulance at pitch side that day saved his life. His reading of the game is top quality and he is a goal scoring threat from set pieces. The fear is that without getting a consistent run in the side he may leave for another club to gain that stability.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

🚨 Only 2 DAYS LEFT at our Dun Laoghaire pop-up! 🚨 Don't miss out on the 🔥 stock we've got waiting for you! ⚽🏐🏉 From sports gear to streetwear, we've got it all! 🏎️🏀 Swing by this weekend and score some epic finds! 🛍️ #popupshop #dunlaoghaire #LimitedTimeOnly 🎉 ... See MoreSee Less

🚨 Only 2 DAYS LEFT at our Dun Laoghaire pop-up! 🚨 Dont miss out on the 🔥 stock weve got waiting for you! ⚽🏐🏉 From sports gear to streetwear, weve got it all! 🏎️🏀 Swing by this weekend and score some epic finds! 🛍️ #PopUpShop #DunLaoghaire #LimitedTimeOnly 🎉

We are BACK in Dun Laoghaire for 1 WEEK ONLY with our superb Pop Up Shop - come in to browse a superb array of jerseys across multiple sports for all shapes and sizes across the last 50 years!

Grab yourself a bargain or a diamond (or both!) - and as ever enjoy the yap and craic, and benefit from being able to try on jerseys for size and not have to pay and wait for post!!!
... See MoreSee Less

We are BACK in Dun Laoghaire for 1 WEEK ONLY with our superb Pop Up Shop - come in to browse a superb array of jerseys across multiple sports for all shapes and sizes across the last 50 years!  

Grab yourself a bargain or a diamond (or both!) - and as ever enjoy the yap and craic, and benefit from being able to try on jerseys for size and not have to pay and wait for post!!!Image attachmentImage attachment+1Image attachment

6 CommentsComment on Facebook

You got any Celtic jerseys from the 1980s?

Irish Sports Museum are u in a different location next week by chance ??

Wish I'd be able to teleport myself there... ! 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦✔

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Whatever your vintage, Geoghegan in 1993, BOD in 2009 or Sexton in 2023 we have you covered! Hundreds of original irish, international & provincial rugby jerseys for sale at dublin's convention centre from 10am at the Dublin Card Show 😀 #irishrugby

@soccercardsunited @kitconeire @dublincardshow
... See MoreSee Less

Whatever your vintage, Geoghegan in 1993, BOD in 2009 or Sexton in 2023 we have you covered! Hundreds of original irish, international & provincial rugby jerseys for sale at dublins convention centre from 10am at the Dublin Card Show 😀 #irishrugby

@soccercardsunited @kitconeire @dublincardshow

Whatever your vintage, Geoghegan in 1993, BOD in 2009 or Sexton in 2023 we have you covered! Hundreds of original irish, international & provincial rugby jerseys for sale at dublin's convention centre from 10am at the Dublin Card Show 😀 #irishrugby #dublincardshow

Soccer Cards United Kit Con Éire
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Whatever your vintage, Geoghegan in 1993, BOD in 2009 or Sexton in 2023 we have you covered! Hundreds of original irish, international & provincial rugby jerseys for sale at dublins convention centre from 10am at the Dublin Card Show 😀 #irishrugby #dublincardshow 

Soccer Cards United  Kit Con Éire

A Kit Kaleidoscope

❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤🤍🤎

Some photos of Kit Con Éire’23

Do NOT miss this one!!!!

🎟️ kitconeire.com
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1 CommentComment on Facebook

Alex Bolger Ian Bolger

Nice write up in today's Irish Daily Star and Irish Mirror newspapers 😆 see you all on the 24th hopefully! ... See MoreSee Less

Nice write up in todays Irish Daily Star and Irish Mirror newspapers 😆 see you all on the 24th hopefully!

2 CommentsComment on Facebook

Class guys

Well done Barry , great write up

Somewhat amazingly, we both have this shirt in our collection (got it direct in Maynooth from him after the Rovers game) and never knew this pic existed!!! 🤣Happy 39th birthday to Cristiano Ronaldo 🎂

How many All-Ireland hurling medals could he have won?

(📸: Sportsfile)
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Somewhat amazingly, we both have this shirt in our collection (got it direct in Maynooth from him after the Rovers game) and never knew this pic existed!!! 🤣

2 CommentsComment on Facebook

Yeh picture was taken in Carton House.

Saturday 24 February, 2024
Opens 10am to 5pm

We're going to have a world class kit display and 1000s of shirts for sale at the inaugural Dublin Card Show at the Convention Centre in Dublin city centre with Kit Con Éire and Soccer Cards United

All sports covered from NFL, NBA, MLB, Soccer, GAA, Rugby, Cricket, Motor Sport etc

Tickets available here: www.eventbrite.ie/e/the-dublin-card-show-tickets-753451683267?fbclid=IwAR1DTTW5e8bDmIUr47nRjdeurT...
... See MoreSee Less

Saturday 24 February, 2024
Opens 10am to 5pm

Were going to have a world class kit display and 1000s of shirts for sale at the inaugural Dublin Card Show at the Convention Centre in Dublin city centre with Kit Con Éire and Soccer Cards United

All sports covered from NFL, NBA, MLB, Soccer, GAA, Rugby, Cricket, Motor Sport etc

Tickets available here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/the-dublin-card-show-tickets-753451683267?fbclid=IwAR1DTTW5e8bDmIUr47nRjdeurTqFhGROIND91nNTNHw8EcBVyguqYGF5dcIImage attachmentImage attachment+3Image attachment

3 CommentsComment on Facebook

Phil Judge

Jason Higgins

Ray Holmes

Well done to the irish @hockey_ireland boys on qualifying for the upcoming Paris Olympics! 😀🏑 commiserations to the ladies missing out in the narrowest of losses to a strong GB side

Here's hoping the lads can repeat or even better the silver medal winning irish team of 1908! 🥈
... See MoreSee Less

Well done to the irish @hockey_ireland boys on qualifying for the upcoming Paris Olympics! 😀🏑 commiserations to the ladies missing out in the narrowest of losses to a strong GB side

Heres hoping the lads can repeat or even better the silver medal winning irish team of 1908! 🥈

Well done to the irish Hockey Ireland boys on qualifying for the upcoming Paris Olympics! 😀🏑 commiserations to the ladies missing out in the narrowest of losses to a strong GB side

Here's hoping the lads can repeat or even better the silver medal winning irish team of 1908!
... See MoreSee Less

Well done to the irish Hockey Ireland boys on qualifying for the upcoming Paris Olympics! 😀🏑 commiserations to the ladies missing out in the narrowest of losses to a strong GB side

Heres hoping the lads can repeat or even better the silver medal winning irish team of 1908!Image attachmentImage attachment+1Image attachment

We love a snapshot of times past, this school newsletter from St Josephs in 1984 is absolutely brilliant, fair play to them for publishing some of the more controversial requests and thoughts from students too! with the prevalence of digital records now (which are too easily lost or deleted) over paper records, we're less likely to see these again in 40 years time.
stjosephsfairview.ie/wp-content/uploads/1984-Joeys-Newsletter.pdf

A great interview with Pat Canavan, the Dublin wing back who was an all star from 1983 when he won the all ireland v Galway.

He wore this jersey in the leinster final of 1985 against Laois.
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We love a snapshot of times past, this school newsletter from St Josephs in 1984 is absolutely brilliant, fair play to them for publishing some of the more controversial requests and thoughts from students too!  with the prevalence of digital records now (which are too easily lost or deleted) over paper records, were less likely to see these again in 40 years time. 
https://stjosephsfairview.ie/wp-content/uploads/1984-Joeys-Newsletter.pdf

A great interview with Pat Canavan, the Dublin wing back who was an all star from 1983 when he won the all ireland v Galway.  

He wore this jersey in the leinster final of 1985 against Laois.Image attachment

⌛ 30 minutes to go. When were gone , were gone! Get down to @the_back_page

Back in 2024

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⌛ 30 minutes to go. When were gone , were gone! Get down to @the_back_page 

Back in 2024

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🎶 No words needed
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🎶 No words needed
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🐝 Jordan F1 heydays @the_back_page

#phibsboro #phibsborough #dublin8 #leinsterrugby #irishrugby #vintagerugbyshirt #bobmarley #reggae #dalymount #dalymountpark #crokepark #dublingaa #gaa
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🐝 Jordan F1 heydays @the_back_page

#phibsboro #phibsborough #dublin8 #leinsterrugby #irishrugby #vintagerugbyshirt #bobmarley #reggae #dalymount #dalymountpark #crokepark #dublingaa #gaa

Oooof! An absolute belter on the rails @dundalkfc_ @the_back_page ... See MoreSee Less

Oooof! An absolute belter on the rails @dundalkfc_ @the_back_page

2 CommentsComment on Facebook

Jim Atkinson Frank McAlevey Have u one of these on the hanger

Cormac Lambe 🏁

Classic Shirt . Iconic Design @the_back_page

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.#phibsboro #phibsborough #dublin8 #leinsterrugby #irishrugby #vintagerugbyshirt #bobmarley #reggae #dalymount #dalymountpark #crokepark #dublingaa #gaa
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Classic Shirt . Iconic Design @the_back_page 

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.#phibsboro #phibsborough #dublin8 #leinsterrugby #irishrugby #vintagerugbyshirt #bobmarley #reggae #dalymount #dalymountpark #crokepark #dublingaa #gaa

1 CommentComment on Facebook

That's a beauty

💚 💛 ♥️ Phibsboro Favourite @the_back_page

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💚 💛 ♥️ Phibsboro Favourite @the_back_page 

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Santa knows the Score! @the_back_page

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Santa knows the Score! @the_back_page

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3 CommentsComment on Facebook

Looking great Barry Rojack . May you and your family Happy Christmas 🎄

Nice one Santa !!! 🧑‍🎄

Sinéad Dowd

All the biggest names in Irish Rugby are here!

@leinsterrugby @munsterrugby @irishrugby

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#munsterrugby #leinsterrugby #irishrugby #phibsborough #phibsboro #dublin8 #dublinevents
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All the biggest names in Irish Rugby are here! 

@leinsterrugby @munsterrugby @irishrugby 

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#munsterrugby #leinsterrugby #irishrugby #phibsborough #phibsboro #dublin8 #dublineventsImage attachment

Big Day if you're a Leinster fan and we've got The Rugby Selection to match @the_back_page

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#phibsboro #phibsborough #dublin8 #leinsterrugby #irishrugby #vintagerugbyshirt
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Big Day if youre a Leinster fan and weve got The Rugby Selection to match @the_back_page

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#phibsboro #phibsborough #dublin8 #leinsterrugby #irishrugby #vintagerugbyshirt

🤩 Nike 1916 Rising . The ultimate Christmas gift for the rebellious sneaker freak in your life.

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#phibsboro #phibsborough #dublin8 #Dublin1916 #1916Rising #EasterRising
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🤩 Nike  1916 Rising . The ultimate Christmas gift for the  rebellious sneaker freak in your life.

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#phibsboro #phibsborough #dublin8 #dublin1916 #1916rising #easterrising

Some nice signed stuff specially up for sale for that extra special christmas gift!! And all your usual rugby needs The back page pub phibsboro today 12pm - 5pm grab a few jerseys and watch the rugby on the big screen with a nice pizza 🍕 ... See MoreSee Less

Some nice signed stuff specially up for sale for that extra special christmas gift!! And all your usual rugby needs  The back page pub phibsboro today 12pm - 5pm grab a few jerseys and watch the rugby on the big screen with a nice pizza 🍕Image attachmentImage attachment+1Image attachment

You're gonna need a lot of space under your Christmas tree because this weekends Classic Shirts Christmas Market is our biggest ever with a bumper selection of sports attire, vintage jerseys, classic kits, retro streetwear and lots of sporting goodies to make someone's Christmas a helluva lot happier!

🎄So join us from 12pm! for 🍕🍺 and ⚽️ 🏀 🏈 ⚾️ 🎾 🏐 🏉
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Youre gonna need a lot of space under your Christmas tree because this weekends Classic Shirts Christmas Market is our biggest ever with a bumper selection of sports attire, vintage jerseys, classic kits, retro streetwear and lots of sporting goodies to make someones Christmas a helluva lot happier!

🎄So join us from 12pm! for 🍕🍺 and ⚽️ 🏀 🏈 ⚾️ 🎾 🏐 🏉

🎁It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! We bring our sled full of Classic shirts, Vintage Sportswear and modern jerseys to the The Back Page for our annual Classic Shirts Christmas Market

It'll be a veritable blizzard of sports wear for you and your family to fill their stockings with
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🎁Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  We bring our sled full of Classic shirts, Vintage Sportswear and modern jerseys to the The Back Page   for our annual Classic Shirts Christmas Market

Itll be a veritable blizzard of sports wear for you and your family to fill their stockings with
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